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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    Angry The whole idea vs all the idea

    Dear All,

    In a second, I'll go crazy.
    I'll be discussing determiners with one of my Advanced groups and there's one point I can't explain other than saying that this is simply language use and nothing more. What I mean here is why all the idea is incorrect. It does follow the rule concerning all used before countable nouns as it precedes the. So what's wrong about it?

    All the best,
    Michał

  2. teechar's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: The whole idea vs all the idea

    Hello, and welcome.
    Quote Originally Posted by m.piotrowski View Post
    In a second, I'll go crazy.
    There's no need for that, and it's rarely helpful.

    Quote Originally Posted by m.piotrowski View Post
    I'll be discussing determiners with one of my advanced groups, and there's one point I can't explain other than saying that this is simply language use and nothing more. What I mean here is why all the idea is incorrect. It does follow the rule concerning all used before countable nouns as it precedes the. So what's wrong about it?
    You're right. It's simply not natural. The phrase "the whole idea" has become standard and idiomatic. Teach such phrases as they are, without overly analyzing the structure.

    By the way, do you know what "whole idea" is used to convey?

  3. Newbie
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    #3

    Re: The whole idea vs all the idea

    Thanks! Glad to finally join the forum.
    Thanks for replying!

    The phrase "the whole idea" has become standard and idiomatic.
    That's unfortunate!
    Teach such phrases as they are, without overly analyzing the structure.
    That's what I do, naturally. Yet, I try to analyze all possibilities.
    By the way, do you know what "whole idea" is used to convey?
    Well, I've always thought it refers to entirety of sth. In this case, all the points included in the said idea. Am I wrong? :D

  4. teechar's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: The whole idea vs all the idea

    Quote Originally Posted by m.piotrowski View Post
    Thanks! Glad to finally join the forum.
    Thanks for replying!
    You're welcome, but in future, you don't need to write a post to thank someone on the forum. Just click Like or Thank instead.

    Quote Originally Posted by m.piotrowski View Post
    That's unfortunate!
    Why? It makes it easier to explain. Just tell your students it's not natural.

    Quote Originally Posted by m.piotrowski View Post
    Yet, I try to analyze all possibilities.
    That's not always necessary or beneficial.

    Quote Originally Posted by m.piotrowski View Post
    Well, I've always thought it refers to the entirety of something. In this case, all the points included in the said idea. Am I wrong?
    That's not what it means. The word "whole" in "the whole idea" (or "this whole idea" or "that whole idea") is used to add emphasis. It is not used to refer to all parts of an idea.

    Take a look at the sample sentences in the link below to see my point.
    https://dictionary.cambridge.org/exa...ish/whole-idea

  5. Newbie
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    #5

    Re: The whole idea vs all the idea

    hat's not what it means. The word "whole" in "the whole idea" (or "this whole idea" or "that whole idea") is used to add emphasis. It is not used to refer to all parts of an idea.
    Is it not, somehow, related? I mean, that's fine if you want to categorize it as an emphatic device, but what about Longman's definition?
    https://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/whole

  6. teechar's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: The whole idea vs all the idea

    I can't find the word "idea" on that page.

  7. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: The whole idea vs all the idea

    Quote Originally Posted by m.piotrowski View Post
    What I mean here is why all the idea is incorrect. It does follow the rule concerning all used before countable nouns as it precedes the. So what's wrong about it?
    It's wrong because it doesn't make sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by m.piotrowski View Post
    Well, I've always thought it refers to entirety of sth. In this case, all the points included in the said idea.
    I'm not sure exactly what you mean. Can you provide the phrase in the context you want to use it?

    As you suspect, there is a semantic difference between all the ... and the whole ... I'll try to give you a brief outline of the basic difference:

    Use all the ... when you want to focus on the object as comprising of a quantity. This could mean that it is composed of multiple objects, both physical (all the people) or mental (all the kinds of blue) or multiple instances of an event (all the times I've cried). With singular noun phrases, the sense is more abstract (all the money)/(all the love in the world), sometimes signifying multiple or even infinite points on a conceptual scheme (all of eternity)/(use all the space in the room) but there is still a basic sense of quantity.

    Use the whole ... when you want to focus on the object as a singular thing as an entirety.

    Another way to explain this that may help is to notice that when you use all the ..., this is really an ellipsis of all of the .... In other words, there's a sense of of-ness—the quantity must be 'of' something. Although it is also possible in some contexts to say the whole of ..., the word whole is usually used as an adjective in the sense we're dealing with here. In other words, there's no of-ness. In that sense, it's not really a quantifier but rather a descriptive adjective. (I don't know how much any of this paragraph makes sense to you. If none of it does, just ignore it!)

    These are two really quite different ideas, which can be easily seen with examples where only one of the words makes sense. In the following sentences, I've deliberately used the wrong word:

    Did you eat the whole food?
    Did you eat all the dish?
    They're blamed for the whole crime in the city.
    I collected all the set.
    She was talking throughout all the film.

    Think about why these sentences are not right.
    Last edited by jutfrank; 09-Feb-2020 at 00:24.

  8. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: The whole idea vs all the idea

    Think about why these sentences are not right.

    It already makes my head hurt just reading them.
    Not a professional teacher

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